BREEAM, Europe’s leading green building rating system, has just given the new PriceWaterhouseCooper office tower its highest rating of “outstanding”. This is a first for an office building this size in the UK and speaks to how corporations are embracing green building on both sides of the pond.
Similar to the USGBC’s LEED certification, BREEAM uses a point system that covers a multitude of sustainable building issues such as reductions in water and energy use, increasing natural lighting and fresh air, the use of recycled materials, and placement. Located on the south bank of the Thames near city hall, 7 More London is a half-million square foot building distinguished by an energy conservation rating 70% above building code. The trick to the building’s impressive ratings was using daylighting paired with advanced HVAC and solar technologies.
A major innovation is how the structure uses waste heat from its air conditioning system to heat the building parameter. It may seem counter intuitive, but large buildings often have to cool the interior and provide heat near the windows at the same time. The owners also claim to produce 25% of the building’s energy onsite — that’s a big number and we’ll see if they can pull it off. The use of solar thermal panels and onsite energy generation using recycled cooking oil will help.